Quarterly reporting of fish and non-fish catches
Fisheries New Zealand supports transparent reporting. Every 3 months, we release information gathered from the daily self-reports from commercial fishers. These reports tell us about their catches – the species, the fishing methods they were using, and where they were fishing.
Commercial fishers also have to tell us about accidental catches of marine mammals (like seals and dolphins), seabirds, reptiles, protected fish, and corals, sponges, and bryozoans.
We use these quarterly reports to monitor trends throughout the year.
The data in these quarterly reports is largely unchanged from the information entered at sea by fishers. In some cases, Fisheries New Zealand has also had to make assumptions about the likeliest fishing methods. It has not been independently verified. That means it's possible that some species have been incorrectly identified. Or there may be some other reporting errors.
Consequently, this information should not be seen as an alternative to other reports such as the Fisheries New Zealand seabird risk assessment reports. Those are peer-reviewed and are underpinned by a robust analytical methodology.
The information in these quarterly reports also differs from the data presented on the website, Protected species by-catch. Information on that website is based on Fisheries New Zealand's observer-collected data. That data is checked for errors and the species verified before it's published.
Occasionally birds collide with, or land on a vessel or its superstructure. Sometimes the birds are injured or disoriented and unable to fly away without help. This is called a deck strike. Fishers are required to report deck strikes as outlined in Part 3 of the Fisheries (E-logbook Users Instructions and Codes) Circular 2021. Deck strikes are not considered to be fishing-related captures, however they are included in the seabird data published here.
Yearly summaries show the seasonal variations
While we publish these reports quarterly, the yearly summaries provide a better comparison. Captures can vary significantly from one quarter to the next based on:
- natural factors (for example, some seabirds breed in New Zealand during the summer months from October to May but head overseas during the winter months)
- seasonal shifts in fishing effort.